These beautiful heathlike plants are not much seen in our greenhouses, although much grown as a winter and spring flowering plant in the gardens of Europe. The same general treatment as that given the ericas will suit them. Good peat (not fern root), if it can be procured, is what they like. In its absence half turfy loam and half leaf-mold will do. For propagation refer to Erica.
Erica and Epacris in Silver Jardinieres.
Most of the species are from Australia and New Zealand, but the hybrids from these species are the most valuable. The colors are mostly white, pink and red of many shades.
Plants that have flowered should have the last year's growth cut down to within a few inches of the older wood, and till the young growth gets a good start the plants should be kept syringed and away from draughts. They make a growth of several stems one to two feet long, which gives you the flowers the following winter. When the growth is matured the plants can be plunged outside for a month or two, but are best in partial shade.
Till flowering time a temperature of 40 to 45 degrees at night will do very well. Like the heaths, they dislike extremes of moisture, but if properly drained will take plenty of water and must at no time be allowed to get very dry.
Although not often seen, the epacris is a beautiful and aristocratic greenhouse plant, and whoever can grow heaths should grow epacris. They are seldom troubled with any of our greenhouse pests of any kind.